Begin your waterfront weekend in Bosham with a walk along the quay. The Harbour is of national and international importance for landscape and nature conservation and is a special place for wildlife, with over 55,000 waders and waterfowl visiting each year.
Whether the tide is in or out, you’ll find plenty of opportunities to take a photograph or two. Grab a coffee made with locally roasted beans and a delicious homemade treat from Pop-in, Bosham’s newest coffee shop and deli before wandering to Quay Meadow to admire the views across the water, then visit Holy Trinity Church which features in the Bayeux Tapestry and has connections with King Canute.
Next is Bosham Walk, a quaint wooden-beamed craft centre situated in an old boathouse boasting a collection of small shops on two floors. Browse British-made crafts, see artists at work and indulge in some shopping before stopping here for refreshments, or walk back to the ever-popular Anchor Bleu for lunch.
After lunch it’s time to further explore beautiful Chichester Harbour. Take the foot ferry from Ferry Hard on Smugglers Lane to Itchenor, - it’s a regular service, and takes just a few minutes to cross the Harbour to this pretty village, famed for its sailing. From Itchenor you can enjoy a 90-minute Harbour Tour aboard Solar Heritage, Chichester Harbour Conservancy’s solar powered catamaran. This virtually silent boat glides through the waters of the harbour, getting up close to some of the wildlife which calls the harbour home. You’ll learn about the inhabitants and history of this special place which is not only an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty but also a Site of Special Scientific Interest but is protected at National, European and International level in recognition of its significance for wildlife and habitats. Once your tour is complete, The Quarterdeck Café is on hand for some refreshment.
Once you’ve made your way back to Bosham via the foot ferry once more, check into The Millstream Hotel, where a warm welcome awaits you, along with individually decorated and furnished bedrooms for a restful night’s sleep. Enjoy a drink in the cosy fireside bar before choosing to treat yourself to a fine dining experience in the Millstream Restaurant or opt for Marwick’s and enjoy lighter bites in a relaxed setting.
Today will see you exploring Chichester’s peninsula by bicycle. You’ll be discovering Route 88, also known locally as Bill Way, which is a mostly flat and traffic free 16-mile round trip . We recommend packing a picnic! The route is sign-posted but a map can be downloaded from our website.
Jump on a train or take the car into Chichester and make your way to the Canal Basin where the route begins. Follow the on and off-road cycle route, until you arrive at RSPB Pagham Harbour.
Pagham Harbour is an Internationally important Nature Reserve of over 600 hectares, made up of salt marshes and tidal mudflats, shingle, wet grasslands and reed swamps, and provides abundant and important habitats for a host of wildlife. The reserve fills and empties with the tide and changes in each season, offering flowering plants, butterflies, breeding and migratory birds. You may be lucky enough to spot seals, herons, voles and more in this quiet, peaceful setting.
Be sure to stop at the Visitor Centre to pick up a trail leaflet which will give you information on the many trails which criss-cross the harbour, and find out what the latest sightings are. Take a couple of hours to explore, watching and listening to the Reserve’s residents.
It is also possible to continue your travels from here for the 1.8 mile cycle to Medmerry Nature Reserve, the result of one of Europe’s largest managed coastal realignment schemes. Medmerry’s new intertidal wildlife habitats have become a haven for wildlife including birds of prey and many types of wetland birds, and you can while away the afternoon spotting them all.
For further information on where to stay and explore in Bosham, visit www.millstreamhotel.com